WHAT WE BELIEVE
Our aim is to have all of our thoughts about God and ourselves be shaped by the words of Scripture. The inspired Word of God, received and recognized in the canon of Scripture, stands alone as the final authority for our faith and our practice. Working from there, our hope is that our theology would always reflect a humble orthodoxy as we pursue God’s truth together.
We are a Reformed church that happily confesses with the Church throughout history the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.
Here is our Statement of Faith:
God Is Trinity
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, coexistent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.
God the Son, Jesus the Christ
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary’s cross. By His death in our place for our sins, He revealed divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, on the third day, He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and, for a period of 40 days, appeared to over 500 witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over heaven and earth, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son Who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is the essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord Who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-Biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
God made man in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him and serving as a holy steward of His world. Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God – possessing the same moral dignity and value – and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. By creating us equal but distinct as male and female, by naming our race “man,” and by establishing a creation order before the Fall and calling it “very good,” God has both established a perpetual duality in human sexuality and has assigned men a humbling and unique authority in the home and in the church (which is the household of God). God’s highest glory and our deepest joy coincide when we wholeheartedly embrace the sex He has assigned to us and His intentions for our masculinity and femininity.
Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel; His resurrection is the power of the gospel; and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His holy love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.
Our Response to the Gospel
The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that works through love and is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin and a zeal for good works. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life. While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple. This response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. This gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all men in all nations.
Our Inheritance Through the Gospel
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith, knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are vital and helpful in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end.
Empowered by the Spirit
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness and imparts His gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world.
God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men and women out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally apprehended the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship, and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the sacraments and prayer.
World Without End
The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorified bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, Who makes all things new.